Forest Baskett, PhD - New Enterprise Associates
Forest joined NEA in 1999 as a Venture Partner and became a General Partner in 2004. Forest focuses on information and energy technology investments. He is the NEA representative on the boards of Arch Rock, AstroWatt, Audience, Chelsio Communications, Fulcrum Microsystems, Serious Materials, SiBEAM and SuVolta. He also assists Alta Devices, Aprius, Azuray Technologies, Bandgap Engineering, Conviva, Fusion-io, Illumitex, Luxtera, NovaTorque, Solar Junction, Solar Storage Company, Svaya Nanotechnologies, Tableau Software and Tintri as either a board member, observer or advisor, usually in conjunction with another member of the NEA investing staff. In the past he has worked with, among others, Aeluros, Atheros Communications (NASDAQ: ATHR), Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP), E2O, Nanochip, Newisys, RingCube Technologies, Telegent Systems, and T-RAM Semiconductor. Forest also previously held advisory positions with FineGround, PolyServe, ReShape and SMIC. Prior to NEA, Forest was Senior Vice President of R&D and Chief Technology Officer of Silicon Graphics Inc. He founded and directed the Western Research Laboratory of Digital Equipment Corporation from 1982 to 1986 before joining SGI. Prior to that, he was a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University from 1971 to 1982. He also spent two years at Los Alamos National Laboratory building an operating system for the original Cray-1 computer and a year and a half at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center as a Principal Scientist doing VLSI research. At Stanford, he worked with Andy Bechtolsheim on the SUN workstation project, with Jim Clark on the Geometry Engine project, and with John Hennessy on the MIPS microprocessor project. Dr. Baskett received a BA in Mathematics from Rice University, a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Tom Rodgers – Partner, Advanced Technology Venture
Tom joined ATV in 2004 and helps spearhead the vertical market efforts in both healthcare and cleantech as part of ATV’s technology practice. He represents ATV on the boards of several portfolio companies including Aperio, Valeritas, Solar Junction, Gynesonics, PolyRemedy, Zeltiq Aesthetics, and AltaRock. He also previously led the investment in Helixis, (acquired by Illumina). He is currently pursing investment opportunities based on disruptive technologies that will significantly reduce costs and improve efficiency in either the context of energy/resource demand management or health/wellcare delivery and maintenance.
Prior to joining ATV, Tom had 12 years of operating experience including various strategy, business development, sales, and marketing roles at leading technology companies. Most recently he served as VP of corporate strategy and business development at McKesson Corporation, one of the premier leaders in the healthcare IT and services industry. Prior to McKesson, Tom was a Product Manager at Genentech and was responsible for the successful Nutropin™, Nutropin AQ™ and Pulmozyme™ franchises. In addition, he was one of the early team members and managed sales and healthcare strategy for FitLinxx, a venture-backed startup that pioneered the fitness and activity monitoring market. His management background also includes five years of consulting at The Wilkerson Group.
Tom holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and was an All American rugby player. He also admits he was once the New Hampshire State high school math champion.
Jim Weldon – Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder
Jim Weldon brings over 29 years of technology management and expertise to Solar Junction. Before leading the founding team through funding rounds, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Translucent, Inc. of Palo Alto, CA, a materials research company. Prior to Translucent, Jim was Vice President of the Advanced Products Division at Epion Corporation and Vice President of Business Development and Technology at Veeco Instruments for 25 years. Veeco Instruments is a Semiconductor Process and Metrology Equipment company. While at Veeco, he held many senior and executive management positions within Sales, Operations, Technology, Business Development and Corporate Development. He ran West Coast operations and the Veeco Technology Center for 10 years. His technical background assisted him in driving business, as well as merger and acquisitions activities. Jim executed due diligence on half a dozen major acquisitions for Veeco. Throughout his career, his main focus is to drive new technology into the market place. As a seasoned veteran, Jim has served on several Technical Advisory Boards, Executive Steering Committees and is on the Board of Directors for Solar Junction and Alliphant. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Merrimack College and graduate studies in Biomedical Engineering.
Vijit Sabnis – Vice President Technology, Co-Founder
Dr. Vijit Sabnis has over 15 years of hands-on experience with III-V optoelectronic device design, wafer processing, and characterization. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University for developing III-V photonic switches for optical routers and wavelength conversion applications. Vijit also held a senior research position at Translucent, Inc where he was principal investigator on the DARPA EPIC program investigating applications of rare-earth oxides for CMOS-integrable optical amplifiers and lasers. He holds over 15 publications and 4 patents.
Raj Atluru – Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Raj Atluru is a Managing Director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson where he has been spearheading the firm's cleantech investment practice since 2001 and its India investment operations since 2005. He has been active across technology sectors, with an emphasis on renewable energy, energy storage, smart grid and energy efficiency applications, wireless technologies and business software and services, among others. He has over 16 years of venture capital, private equity, and leveraged finance experience both domestically and in emerging markets with a specific focus on India. In 2005, Raj lead the firm's partnership with partner fund Element Partners, to launch DFJ Element, one of the largest dedicated cleantech funds. Raj is frequently cited in leading industry and national publications talking about the trends in cleantech venture capital, and speaks globally about the opportunities for innovation within this sector. Raj previously worked in the leveraged finance and Asian corporate finance groups at Credit Suisse in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore and also spent three years with TL Ventures where he focused on early stage software, wireless communications and energy technologies.
Raj sits on the advisory board of the Cleantech Investors Forum, and co-founded The Spotlight Fund, a non-profit dedicated to funding start-up educational entrepreneurs. Raj received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil/Environmental Engineering from Stanford University where he taught the solar and wind energy lab and was a full time research assistant on the Waste Isolation Pilot Project for Sandia National Labs (Department of Defense Nuclear Repository Study). In addition, he received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Ravi Viswanathan, PhD – New Enterprise Associates
Ravi joined NEA in February 2004 as a Principal, became a Partner in December 2004 and was named General Partner in 2009. He focuses on information technology investments with special emphasis in energy and growth equity investments. Ravi is on the board of Availink, Deeya Energy, ISGN Technologies, Jentro Technologies, Liquidia, Solar Junction, Suniva and ViXS and works closely with GlobalLogic, OANDA, and NEA's energy portfolio companies. Prior investments include Tele Atlas. Prior to joining NEA, Ravi worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he was co-head of the technology practice in their private equity group and led direct, fund, and secondary investments in the areas of information technology and life sciences. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Ravi worked for McKinsey & Company and advised clients in the software, communications, and pharmaceutical sectors on strategy, acquisitions and new business building. Previously, Ravi worked for Raychem Corporation in the Corporate Technology Division where he focused on research and product development in semiconductors, liquid crystals, and other materials systems. Ravi received a master's degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara where he focused his research on materials science applications in molecular electronics, biomaterials, and nanotechnology. Prior to graduate school, Ravi received a BS in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.